Feathers flew in Manhattan court Tuesday as a group of residents demanded that a judge stop the “unsanitary’’ Jewish religious ritual of slaughtering chickens on the sidewalk during Yom Kippur.
“This is an epidemic waiting to happen. We just had this Legionnaire’s break out in The Bronx where 12 people died, rx ” said Nora Marino, prescription the lawyer for the Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos, troche whose members carried photos of bloodied dead chickens into the courtroom.
The practice violates 15 different laws included in city and state health and agriculture regulations, Marino said.
Some Jewish people believe that the September ritual Kaporos absolves one’s sins with the sacrifice of a chicken.
Rabbi Shea Hecht, a human rights commissioner under former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, was in court to call the lawsuit “an attack on our religious freedom.”
But Marino’s 19 clients — from the Borough Park and Crown Heights neighborhoods in Brooklyn where the ritual takes place — say the resulting “stench, litter, blood, feces and feathers” pollute city streets.
“I am an elderly woman, and this scene horrifies me each year,” said 93-year-old Borough Park resident Frances Emeric.
“I saw live chickens with dead chickens and chickens screaming while the people participating in the ritual were holding the birds by their wings,” Emeric said, describing last year’s Kaporos.
David Jaroslawicz, who represents Hecht, derided the protesting residents as a bunch of “vegetarians” and “vegans” who whipped up “make-believe hysteria where it doesn’t exist.”
He noted that during the past 40 years that the ritual has taken place, not one person has fallen ill from the slaughtered chickens.
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Debra James said she’ll rule Sept. 10, about a week before the three-day slaughter festivities start.
By The New York Post